With the clock ticking, state supreme court justices hastily convened attorneys Thursday to consider whether the secretary of state’s implementation of ranked-choice voting for the June primaries without funding by state lawmakers violates the Maine Constitution. An attorney for the Maine Senate warned that the Separation of Powers is a “fundamental touchstone of our liberty” while the attorney general’s office countered that state election officials always have had broad authority when it comes to elections.
“The Senate is here because its authority over the electoral process has been, in its view, supervened. We’re are looking at a process here which we think is going to end up with a great loss of voter confidence,” said Tim Woodcock, attorney for the Maine Senate.
Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner said Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is following the law in implementing the new voting system.
“The secretary of state administers elections. We’re simply administering them by a slightly different method this time,” she told justices.